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A happy man and woman hugging and building a support network in recovery.

When working toward sobriety or currently living in sobriety, building a support network in recovery is critical. Learn how to form your sober support group.

We’ve all heard a version of the adage: A house built upon sand is destined to fall. But what does this mean?

Does it mean that sand is a terrible foundation to place a building on; That building a house on the beach is an insurable nightmare?

While these questions hold some truth, the proverb itself is referencing to something a bit deeper. It is pointing out that a house built upon a shaky or unstable foundation will not stand the test of time. It will inevitably fall under the pressure of stress and the elements eroding its substance and groundwork.

This saying is using a visually stimulating example to signify the importance of taking the time to create healthy and purposeful life choices. This includes deciding the places you go and especially the people who you surround yourself with.

Establishing a sober and reassuring support network is akin to building your house on concrete. It stabilizes your daily decision patterns, aids in your ability to avoid a relapse and increases the potential for sustained health and happiness.

Taking the time to selectively choose those you allow into your life throughout the recovery process is an excellent way to protect yourself from unnecessary temptation and addiction triggers.

The Importance of Building a Support Network in Recovery

Why is it important to build a positive and sober support network while in recovery?

While it’s ultimately on you to identify your addiction triggers and avoid unnecessary temptation, having people around you to hold you accountable can be supremely beneficial through difficult times. They can not only call your card when they see you making unhealthy and potentially dangerous decisions, but they can also provide a sympathetic ear when you simply need a friend to talk to.

Having that social connection to both lift your spirits and keep you grounded can mean the difference between maintained sobriety and potential relapse.

Taking the time to build a sober support network can also increase your sense of belonging after dealing with the feeling of isolation that is so common with addiction. While addictive behaviors can sometimes push those you love the most away, achieving sobriety is a great first step to rebuilding a healthy and supportive social network.

It can decrease potential feelings of stress and depression associated with your past addiction and replace those emotions with optimism and purpose for what a healthy and sober future holds.

Three Tips for Establishing Your Sober Support Group

1. Stick to Sober Environments

When building a sober support network, it is imperative to avoid finding peer connections in compromising scenarios. While this may seem obvious, steering clear of any environments in which substance use is accepted or encouraged is a good rule to follow.

By contrast, increasing your time in sober environments, such as healthy community programs or religious gatherings, can provide you with social connections that feed both your heart and your soul.

2. Be Selective in Your Choices

At this point in your recovery, it is okay to be very selective with who you allow into your sober support network. Take the time to not only convey your goals and aspirations, but to also get to know what type of lifestyle the people you are interacting with lead.

Do they drink often? Are they into partying on the weekends? Do they lead a sober lifestyle? All of these questions are important to answer before considering anyone as a viable addition to your support network.

3. Avoid Romantic Relationships for a At Least a Year

This may seem crazy or excessive to some, but the fact is, dating and committing yourself to a relationship is not recommended during the first year of your recovery.

This is due to the fact that it is essential to focus on yourself over that time frame, improving your personal decision patterns, creating new healthy habits and remaking your lifestyle.

Complicating things with a relationship can increase feelings of stress and trigger a relapse. While this step may seem difficult to achieve, keeping your mind and heart focused on lasting happiness and sobriety can help you overcome all things.1

The process of recovery is no simple task, so creating a healthy and supportive sober network is
essential to not only achieving sobriety, but also maintaining that state long-term.

Take the time to selectively choose what peers can help you avoid unnecessary relapse triggers while also improving your emotional state and overall optimism.

Above all, remember to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, and who encourage your healthier lifestyle. This is key to avoiding unnecessary stress and relapse triggers.

Christ-Centered Addiction Treatment and Relapse Prevention at Covenant Hills

Sobriety is a life-altering event. It takes an all-encompassing approach to navigate the entire addiction recovery process and arrive at a healthy, sober mental and physical state.

At Covenant Hills, we believe that addiction is a symptom of a deeper issue that is best addressed in the context of relationship and grace. If you or a loved one still live with addiction and long to get clean, our Christian-based alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs can help.

At our treatment facility, your whole person health will be compassionately cared for. Your mind, body, soul and spirit will be met with expert support that can help you reclaim overall health that not only benefits you, but also your entire family.

In addition to our addiction recovery assistance, we also offer world-class therapy, unparalleled relapse prevention curriculum and a safe, inspiring place to reconnect with God.

Learn about our gender-specific, Christian-based addiction treatment programs, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment. We are available 24/7.


1PsychCentral. 5 Steps to A Strong (Sober) Social Support System. Accessed December 11, 2018.